Guale was a Native American chiefdom that became part of Spanish Florida's missionary system in the late 16th century. Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States A chiefdom is a type of complex society of varying degrees of centralization that is led by an individual known as a chief. Spanish Florida ( Spanish: La Florida) refers to the Spanish Colony of Florida. They lived along the coast of present-day Georgia and the Sea Islands. The State of Georgia ( is a state in the United States and was one of the original Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule The Sea Islands are a chain of tidal and Barrier islands on the Atlantic Ocean coast of the United States. During the late 17th century and early 18th century Guale society was shattered. Some of the surviving remnants migrated to the mission areas of Spanish Florida while others remained near the Georgia coast. Joining with surviving remnants of other groups, the ethnically mixed Yamasee emerged. The Yamasee were a Native American tribe that lived in coastal region of present-day northern Florida and southern Georgia near the Savannah River
The Guale language is not known for certain. One claim is that the Guale spoke a Muskogean language, but this has been questioned by the historian Sturtevant, who showed that vocabulary sources believed to be Guale were actually Creek. Muskogean (also Muskhogean, Muskogee) is an indigenous language family of the Southeastern United States.  There are references to Guale grammar recorded in 1569 by Jesuit Brother Domingo Agustín Váez, but the documents have not been found.
Archaeological studies indicate that the precursors of the historically known Guale lived along the Georgia coast and sea islands. From at least 1150 A. D. the people who became known as the Guale lived in the same general area. The prehistoric Guale cultures are known to archaeologists as the Savannah phase (1150 to 1300 A. D. ) and the Irene phase (1300 to circa 1600). While the prehistoric Guale shared many characteristics with their regional neighbors, there are distinctive archaeological features that distinguish the "proto-Guale" people from other groups. 
The prehistoric Guale people were organized into chiefdoms and built Mississippian type mounds. The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern Mound Builder is a general term referring to the American Indians who constructed various styles of earthen Mounds for burial residential and ceremonial purposes 
The Guale territory became the third mission province of Spanish Florida. The Timucua and Apalachee mission provinces were the first two. A fourth mission province along the lower Chattahoochee River and known as the Apalachicola province, failed before any missions were established. The Chattahoochee River runs from the Chattahoochee Spring in the Appalachian Mountains of northeastern Georgia, near the Carolinas to the southwestward The mission province of Guale was situated along the Atlantic coast and Sea Islands, north of the Altamaha River and south of the Savannah River, and including Sapelo Island, St. Catherines Island, Ossabaw Island, Wassaw Island, and Tybee Island, among others. The Sea Islands are a chain of tidal and Barrier islands on the Atlantic Ocean coast of the United States. The Altamaha River is a major River of the US state of Georgia. For the Department of Energy facility see Savannah River Site The Savannah River is a major river in the southeastern United States St Catherines Island is one of the Sea Islands on the coast of the U Ossabaw Island is one of the Sea Islands located on the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the U By the middle 17th century six missions had been established in Guale territory. There largest settlements were probably on St. Catherines Island.
Of the three mission provinces, Guale was the least stable. Although effectively conquered in the 1580s, the Guale rebelled in 1597 and 1645, nearly shaking off the missions. They kept up a clandestine trade with French privateers. 
Indians throughout the American southeast were drawn to the Spanish mission provinces and the trade in European manufactured goods. Various non-Guale Indians settled in or near the Guale missions during the 17th century. Most were from an Indian province of north-central Georgia known to the Spanish as "La Tama". In the 1660s La Tama and neighboring regions began to be subjected to raids by the well-armed Westo, causing the La Tama Indians to disperse in several directions, including the lower Chattahoochee River towns of Coweta and Cussita, the Apalachee mission provinces, and the Guale mission province. The Westo were a Native American tribe of the 17th century They probably spoke an Iroquoian language The La Tama Indians spoke a dialect of Hitchiti, a Muskogean language, as did the Coweta, Cussita, and Apalachee. The Hitchiti was a Muskogean Tribe formerly residing chiefly in a town of the same name on the east bank of the Chattahoochee River, 4 miles below Chiaha Muskogean (also Muskhogean, Muskogee) is an indigenous language family of the Southeastern United States. The Guale language may or may not have been related. 
The Spanish first used the term Yamasee in 1675 to refer to the newcomer refugees, equating them to the La Tama Indians. The Yamasee were a Native American tribe that lived in coastal region of present-day northern Florida and southern Georgia near the Savannah River In Guale Province, some of these Yamasee joined the existing missions while others settled on the periphery.
Between 1675 and 1684, the Westo tribe, backed by the English colonies of South Carolina and Virginia, along with attacks by English-supported pirates, destroyed the Spanish mission system in Guale. The Westo were a Native American tribe of the 17th century They probably spoke an Iroquoian language The Province of Carolina from 1663 to 1712, was a North American British proprietary Colony, controlled by eight English noblemen The Colony of Virginia (also known frequently as the Virginia Colony and occasionally as the Dominion and Colony of Virginia) was the English colony Mission Santa Catalina de Guale was sacked in 1680. By 1684 all six missions were abandoned. The La Tama Yamasee and other refugees were dispersed along with the Guale Indians. Some relocated to new missions in Spanish Florida, but most rejected Spanish authority, in part because Spain had been unable to protect them and unwilling to provide firearms. The Indians of Guale Province mostly moved to the Apalachee or Apalachicola regions. 
One small group of Yamasee-Guale refugees, led by Chief Altamaha, instead moved north to the mouth of the Savannah River sometime just around or before 1684. For the Department of Energy facility see Savannah River Site The Savannah River is a major river in the southeastern United States That year, a Scottish colony called Stuarts Town was founded in South Carolina, on Port Royal Sound, near the Savannah River. Scottish colonization of the Americas consisted of a number of failed or abandoned Scottish settlements in North America, a colony at Darien, Port Royal Sound is a coastal sound, or Inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, located in the Sea Islands region in Beaufort County in the Stuarts Town only survived for about two years before the Spanish destroyed it, but during that time a strong bond was forged between the Scots of South Carolina and the Yamasee-Guale.
In late 1684, armed with firearms provided by the Scots, these Indians raided the Timucua Province, devastating the mission Santa Catalina de Afuyca. They returned to Stuarts Town with 22 captives and sold them as slaves. Similar ventures were carried out over the following two years. Word of the success of the Stuarts Town allied Yamasee-Guale traveled through the region and the population of "Yamasee" Indians near Port Royal Sound grew rapidly. Although the Indians became known as "Yamasee", Guale Indians remained a significant portion of the population. 
After Stuarts Town was destroyed and South Carolina's counterattacks with Yamasee aid met strong Spanish resistance in the old Guale Province south of the Savannah River, the alliance between the Yamasee and South Carolina grew stronger.
The "Yamasee" who migrated to the Port Royal area around 1685 were in part a reunification of the old La Tama chiefdom, but they also had a large population of Guale Indians, as well as various others of generally Muskogean stock. The Yamasee continued to live in South Carolina until the Yamasee War of 1715, after which they dispersed widely and ultimately disintegrated as a polity. The Yamasee War (also spelled Yemassee War) ( 1715 - 1717) was a conflict between colonial South Carolina and various Native American Indian But while they lasted, the Yamasee exhibited multi-ethnic qualities. Their towns were described by the English as being Upper Yamasee or Lower Yamasee towns.
The Lower Towns were populated mainly by La Tama Indians and had names such as Altamaha (after the chief who lived there), Ocute, and Chechesee (Ichisi). The Upper Towns were populated mainly by Guale Indians, although other ethnicities had become incorporated as well. Upper Yamasee Towns that probably had mainly Guale populations included Pocotaligo, Pocosabo, and Huspah. Other Upper Towns, such as Tulafina, Sadketche (Salkehatchie), and Tomatley, were probably mixed, with populations of Guale, Tama, and others. It is possible that the Tama Indians of these towns had spent time in missions and become somewhat Christianized, and thus felt more comfortable living with the similarly missionized Guale. 
The few "refugee missions" that continued to exist in Guale were destroyed during South Carolina's 1702 invasion of Spanish Florida. Guale became too depopulated and helpless to resist the establishment of the colony of Georgia by James Oglethorpe in 1733. The Province of Georgia (also Georgia Colony) was one of the Southern colonies in British North America.
A similar missionary province called Mocama (named for a Timucuan chiefdom) was situated just south of Guale, on the coast between the Altamaha River and St. Johns River. Mocama was a Native American Chiefdom that became part of Spanish Florida 's missionary system in the late 16th century The St Johns River (officially Saint Johns River, but commonly spelled St